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... The SS Constitution ...

... A Most Storied BattleShip ... Prior to independence the thirteen American colonies enjoyed protection from pirates and foreign navies under the British Royal Navy. However, once the United States won independence the young nation had to defend itself. In 1794 Congress authorized the construction of six warships to become the new United States Navy. One of these warships became the new United States Navy. One of these warships was the USS Constitution. She was built at Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston. Construction launched on October 21, 1797. The ship sailed its first cruise the next year as the Quasi-War with France emerged. Later it served in engagements with pirates off the Barbary Coast in the Mediterranean. The greatest Glory for the Constitution, however, came during the war of 1812 when the Constitution's crew defended against four British frigates during three separate engagements in battle. It was here that the Constitution earned the nickname "Old Ironsides because it appeared as if the enemy's cannonballs could not penetrate the ship's strong hull. Before and after these voyages, The Constitution had to undergo constant repairs and refits. Most of this work was completed in the Charlestown Navy Yard ... After over 200 years in the Navy, the Constitution still calls Charleston home and relies on the same facilities for maintenance and repairs ... Today, the USS Constitution occasionally sails through Boston Harbor for special anniversaries and commemorations. The USS Constitution and its Navy crew go underway with the assistance of tugboats as they sail down the coast to Castle Island. In the harbor near Castle Island, the navy crew fires a cannon salute before they turn around to the ... Charleston Navy Yard ...

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